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Mazda Protegé



  • theparallaxtheparallax Posts: 361
    Same here, I like the older front end much better than the new 01 models, the new ones don't give the 'Euro' look the older ones did perfectly. On the other hand, the Protege5 and MP3 front ends look GREAT!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Got mine in Feb. 1999. All I needed done was to have the steering wheel aligned with the front wheels (about 15 degrees off). Nothing since then.

    All I do is oil & oil filter changes every 5,000 miles. I usually do tire rotations at the same time, but I'm trying to wear these Firestones out quickly, so I've only rotated them once at 19,000 miles (I'm trying to wear them out evenly...I'm still cheap). I've changed the air filter once at 15,000 since it looked kind of dirty (lost of dust and pollen, some bugs). Every now and then I visually check the front brake pads and spray the exposed metal of the underbody parts and door joints with some silicone grease.

    19,3k miles and still pretty solid. Some minor vibration from the engine now when idling in D. I'll have the dealer take care of that at the 30,000 mile tune-up. A/C has never jolted on me. Cooling is adequate, but not the strongest I've felt.

    Speaking of cooling, do you think Mazda will keep the mesh seats they had in their RX-8 show cars? That would help ventilate the ol' back-side during the hot humid months w/o having to use one of those cheesy bead seats. I wonder if they'll extend those to their other models? It would open up some more legroom in the rear seat too.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    What's the need for double clutching? I thought that went out when synchro's went in. That explains why you need a clutch(pressure plate, whatever). If I'm right about the sequence, it's
    1. depress clutch,shift to neutral, release clutch
    2. rev engine, depress clutch, shift to gear and release clutch.
    And since you're fond of downshifting as well I would say your clutch as well as you left leg are both getting a hell of a workout.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Well, next year's replacement for the 626, the RX-8, the 2003 Miata, and the 2004 Miata are supposed to have interiors, as Phil Martins, Managing Director of Mazda, said, "The new models will have beautiful interior themes - unlike anything you've seen previously from Mazda. And the craftsmanship that you will see on the interior of these cars will far, far greater than you've ever seen on Mazda vehicles."

    You can check out Motor Trend's article on the future Mazda vehicles at

    Overall, I like my Protege. I have experienced a lot of problems and premature wear that is probably my fault. I bought the Protege because of it's sporty driving dynamics. I just figured that a car with that type of dynamics would be built to withstand that type of driving, but I was wrong. It is still, in fact, an economy car. Cars like the Miata and RX-7 are equipped with heavier-duty performance parts that can withstand spirited driving...

    As far as my comment that I would never buy a Mazda again... I lied. I just need to stick with sports cars if I want to drive like I'm in one. A car with a larger engine would probably be better for me as well, as you don't have to push it as hard. Let's face it... the Protege is quick, but you have to push it. Something like the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP with its supercharged V6 is mighty fast and even I wouldn't push it very hard...

    Is there anyone else here that's wondered why the Protege is geared so low in 5th gear? During my 10 hour trip to northern California a few months ago, I got really tired of 4,000rpm. Imagine how much better fuel mileage would be if the engine spun about 1,000rpm less on the freeway... It is no wonder that the Protege is near the bottom of it's class for fuel mileage. The Dodge Neon's 150hp 2.0L gets 27/33, the Civic's 127hp 1.7L gets 32/37, and the Corolla 125hp 1.8L gets 32/41. All of those cars have similar performance and weigh about the same as the Protege. Come on Mazda... these cars get even better mileage than the 1.6L in the DX and LX...

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I only do that at high rpm downshifts right before a hard corner. Plus, its a habit from driving the MG. The MG's synchro's were definitely only effective in the lower rev range and first gear didn't even have a synchro!! Also, with the RX-7's 10,000rpm tach, I would have never thought about downshifting without double clutching!!

    It seems that double clutching is a lost art with these new transmissions. However, if you watch the new Acura RSX commercials, it shows the driver double clutching on a downshift. And, in The Fast And The Furious, the main character was made fun of because he wasn't double clutching in a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T!! Is the long lost art of driving making a comeback??
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    I'm curious to know.

    And what kinds of a car/engine/transmission/driving condition combo would one use it in?

    Planning to go watch the Fast and the Furious one of these days. Been postponing it for a while now!
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    That's odd, I like the front end on the 2001 Pros better than the 99-00's. That's one of the reasons I bought it. It looks similar to larger cars. The P5 and MP3 look too exagerated IMHO. The scale of their front end seems too massive for the rest of the car. More suitable for a compact 18-wheeler, with those big fog lights. ;) Different strokes for different folks.

    I still think there should be one Pro with suspension tuned for Interstate cruising, a touring version. Would any of you ES owners like to drive from CA to NY in your Pro? The Lincoln Town Car is the touring cruiser, a Pro is a Town Car.

    Strange how they label cars.

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Come one, come all Pro owners to the Thursday night Owners Club chat room!! See ya there! Good crwod last time. 6PM PT to 7PM PT -- 9PM ET to 10PM ET

    Sometimes you have to double-clutch to get into the chat room, too!

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    the firewall?? Good grief! I thought Mitsubishi was the old Zero manufacturer? NOW there's a car I don't like, any model.

  • don't worry guys.. this isn't a movie spoiler..

    anyways, the character in the movie said this right after they finished drag racing.. why would you need to double-clutch in a drag race??.. i doubt they even take their foot off the gas..
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    Boy you know I'd love to go from CA to NY only in the opposite direction and if I had the spare
    $$ to support the trip
  • 3 proteges (tuned mp3s i think) compete in the Speedvision world challenge (touring car division).. tv schedule link follows..

    of course this isn't broadcast live.. so the results for the race are probably available at their website.. but please don't post the results! :) thanks!


  • panamaltd2panamaltd2 Posts: 162
    Amen! The new ones just don't look as sharp and euro. Some people just don't like euro styled cars. Freshenings don't always improve the look, they just change it a little. Love the MP3 and Pro5, have the same sharp edged euro look as the 1999-2000. I have heard and seen that the next Pro. is going to be absolutely beautiful in the best German fashion. Mazda designers really admire Audi! I was thinking that my next car in a year would be a new A4, but if the next Pro. is as good as think it will be I may change my mind...
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    One of my co-workers has a 2000 Protege ES in silver. She saw my 2001 and was like, "Wow! I like it alot!". She liked the sporty touches like the fog lights, the front end, the spoiler, and the wheels. I like the front end of the 2001 better because it doesn't have those huge turn signal lamps. I thought they were too big for the car.

    As for the P5's front end, the front bumper does look huge compared to the entire car. I know I like the taillamps alot. I would love to be able to somehow retrofit the P5 taillamps to my ES sedan. Now that would be wild!

    Fowler: I have taken a 100-mile trip in my Protege with 3 passengers up and down mountains, and no one complained once. Of course, that was only about an hour. We did rent a Chevy Tracker SUV for a 5-hour drive to the Poconos a couple weeks back, and about halfway through the trip one of my friends (same ones that went on the 100-mile one with me) was like, "God, I wish we would have brought the Protege instead of THIS!". I guess that speaks for itself, considering the friend is 6'3 and rode in the back of my Protege (with a sunroof too) without touching the headliner and without any cramping.
  • panamaltd2panamaltd2 Posts: 162
    The wheels on the 1999-2000 ES looked more euro then the ones on the ES now. Vocus...of course you would like the 2001 better, that is what you own. To each his own. Whatever, blah, blah, blah...
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    My sister has a 96 Protege LX 1.5L automatic, and she has major problems with the valves. This car has about 75,000 miles and has already had the upper end done once. Parts on this car are not cheap. It looks like she needs more cams AGAIN. The 1.5L is very underpowered, especially with the automatic transmission. The engines don't seem very durable.

    Both of my sisters have Protege's. The other sister has a 95 ES with the 1.8L engine and 5 speed with ABS. This one is very powerful, but has also had upper valvetrain problems in the past. Has anyone else had this kind of trouble? The 02 sensors are very expensive too. on the ES, the 2 sensors cost over 400 dollars each to replace. On the 1.5 they cost nearly 300 dollars each.

    Plus both engines have terrible exhaust manifolds. Both are cracked and make them sound like trucks. Did they get lemons, or did anyone else have some of the same problems? Fit and finish on both cars are great, and everything else is fine. But the labor to fix these cars is ridiculous...nearly 1 thousand for each car.

    I am just checking to see if anyone else had this problem with the upper part of either engine. Maybe we will fix them, or maybe we will get rid of them. I started to get a new Protege, but seeing how these engines held up, I bought a new Sentra SE 2.0L instead. I still like my Protege's but they are beginning to scare me.

    Thanks for listening,
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Just curious (for gserep1) - did you have the timing belt replacement service and the 60K service done? These are interference engines, and I understand valve damage would be caused if worn-out timing belts were to break!

    I have taken numerous trips since I bought mine a year and a half ago (in fact, I have a 1.5 mile commute, so most of the almost 10K miles I've put on it are highway). Most trips in the mountains in UT, CO, WY, ID and in the Nevada desert! With anything from 0 to 3 passengers. Comfortable, and absolutely reliable!

    It sounds like your sisters got lemons, or missed out on reguylar maintenance - which is an invitation for expensive repairs in any vehicle, however good!

    Hope you can have them repaired and they serve your purpose, but to each his or her own! I love my 95 Protege, and I do drive it pretty hard too!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I thought we'd been through this depreciation thing several times. Here's the logic ...

    Sure, Proteges depreciate faster than Civics or Corollas. But not by much! Since we all love spouting off emotionally on these topics before we check the FACTS, I did a little research for all of us. It may help those who are insecure about their purchase to CALM DOWN just a little.

    Here goes. (All of the following is from the NADA and Edmunds Websites this morning. Prices are based on Protege ES vs. Civic EX, both 5-speed manuals with air, alloy wheels and CD players. On the used models I plugged in the same mileage for both. Note: The top-of-the-line Protege in 1992 was the LX, but it had all of the features of the Civic EX of that year.)

    New 2001 Prices (MSRP):

    Civic EX: $17,350
    Protege ES: $16,015

    Difference: Civic costs $1,335 more than Protege

    Used 2000 Prices (Trade-in/Avg. Retail):

    2000 1992
    Civic EX: $13,250/$15,450 $3,900/$5,350
    Protege ES: $11,375/$13,250 $2,000/$3,250

    Difference: $1,875/$2,200 $1,900/$2,100
    (in Civic's favor)

    So, if we take into account that we paid $1,335 LESS for our Proteges, the Civic retains only about $565 in trade-in value or $765 average retail after 8 years. I don't think that's such a big difference in depreciation, especially when you consider that the Protege HAS A BETTER WARRANTY (3/50 as opposed to 3/36), a larger engine, a larger interior, etc., etc.

    Let's get our facts straight before we slam our own cars, OK? I, for one, love my Protege and the two I had before it! (And by the way, my '92 LX 5-speed went 83,000 miles before I traded it in and I never had any clutch problems, and I was still on my original brakes too!)


  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    very well in the above post. But I think you can figure it out. Under "2000 1992" there are supposed to be two prices for each year, separated by a "/". The price before the / is trade-in, and the price after the / is average retail. First set is for the 2000 model, second for the 1992.

  • mhallackmhallack Posts: 32
    Something we may be forgetting here is that if your car breaks down, that doesn't mean they all will. Since our cars cost a good sum of money (even for the miserly Protege), it's very easy to become emotional when one of them breaks down (particularly if it happens frequently). What we have to remember is that they all didn't go through the assembly line the same day or even the same way. Every manufacturer produces some lemons, the question is how often. This question can only be answered statistically.

    One or even a few people's experience, until it is correlated between hundreds or thousands of other experiences is anecdotal evidence (and fairly weak), not statistical evidence.

    When we say "they don't build them like they used to" based on a single car, we are making an extremely wide inference based on very little evidence.

    It would be a similar case, if we knew someone who died in a car accident and said "its getting so its not safe to drive anymore". People die in car accidents and will continue to do so, but less die per mile travelled EVERY year (according to the NHTSA). When we look at the whole of the evidence we realize that the highways are safer than they used to be.
  • protegenicprotegenic Posts: 199
    I did about 480 miles yesterday on a business trip in my '99 ES. Going and average of 75 with the AC on and an additional passenger, I got right at 33 mpg. That was the highest I have ever had yet. As pleased as I am with that figure, I would probably have gotten even better with a higher 5th gear and the cabin would have been a lot less noisy. I was usually at about 3700 RPM.

    Love my Protege, but that noisy fifth gear is the one thing that probably I am the least thrilled with.
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    In response to your very good questions, I will say that the belt was indeed changed on time. I changed it at 60,000 miles, only to find out that it is supposed to be done at 105,000 miles for California engines. Why they should be different, I don't have a clue. I know that these are ZERO clearance engines, and if a timing belt breaks, certain valves will be bent when they kiss a piston. Not a good thing to happen, for sure.

    Both engines were very well maintained, and all services were done on time. The engines were both serviced with synthetic oils, and K&N air filters to keep things clean. I have seen so many of the 95 and 96 year cars with cracked exhaust manifolds. There seems to be a defect of some type. I contacted Mazda, and they said that no one has reported any cracked manifolds, and the replacement is about $250.00. I definitely don't want to buy a replacement manifold if it is the same as the first one, and has not been improved upon. Has anyone else experienced a cracked exhaust manifold on their cars? I am trying to establish some sort of pattern.

    Any help that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. I really like both of these cars, and I feel really bad for one of my sisters because I SOLD this car to her when I worked at a local Mazda dealership. I really believed in these cars when I worked there. They really do have much more interior space for passengers and are really comfortable. Now that they are out of warranty, we don't want to spend good money after bad trying to keep these cars running if they are not worth it.

    Thanks again,
  • Hi guys! There is a great forum happening here. I have just change the oil in my 2000 Pro ES. Kind of difficult reaching for that oil filter. Well, I have a question about checking the level of the transmission fluid. I know in old cars, there is a dip stick that you can use to check the levels of your fluids. I looked for one in my Pro ES but I can't seem to find it. Is there one. Just wanted to make sure that when I change my oil again next time, I would be able to run a check on all of the fluids of my car.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    there is one. look at the right rear to the tranny
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Even the top gear in the auto is pretty low, resulting in higher rpms at highway speeds (at 65mph, my 99LX goes at about 3000rpm, while my 89 323 runs at about 2700rpm). However, it does make the car more responsive when accelerating to pass someone.

    It's a compromise of performance versus economy. But I knew that when I bought my Pro (instead of a Civic, which was the closest competition at the time...Corolla, Sentra, Impreza were, and still are, much too cramped for me).

    Could I have gotten a larger car with similar or better performance and economy? Yeah, but they are too clumsy to maneuver in parking lots (curb-to-curb turning circles of 34 feet are about as big as I want to go) and aren't nearly as nimble in S-curves. You'll notice most vehicles with larger turning circles don't post this specification, or don't use a "curb-to-curb" number, which is the only realistic figure to use (kind of like how CRT monitor mfrs list the glass size in big type and actual usable area in small type).
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    Can someone please verify whether or not the above engine is firewall mounted. Never actually heard of such in automotive application. Also that drag co-efficient is 0.32? Thought I read that somwhere. Seems kinda low for the car..? Thanks. Dennis MI
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    BlueMica where is the oil filter on the ES. Did you put it up on stands to get to it. I want to do my oil change but could not see the filter. Others on this forum have said that stands are needed. If so what kind do I need to get? Thanks
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    on p 5-25 owners manual it cautions against exceeding redline (6500). I've never been able to exceed 6300 rpm. Is there a rev limiter?
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    filter is on rear of block, Illus in owner's manual.How difficult is the filter to get to? When I took deliv someone in the service dept said If you can put it on a lift its easy, from ramps or stands it'd be a pain. That's as much as I know. I'm on my way to get a pr. of ramps and find out for myself. I agree w/you. I rest easier doing my own oil/filter changes..if its not a monumental pain like my previous V6 Contour.
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